December 28, 2016
Data Coalition News
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The latest: 
  • 2017 Event Dates!
  • A Year in Review: The Data Coalition in 2016

Mark Your Calendar: 2017 Event Dates

  • Financial Data Summit, Thursday, March 16, 2017. Registration is now open, click here!
  • DATA Act Summit, Thursday, June 28, 2017
  • Data Transparency 2017, Tuesday, September 26, 2017 (hosted by the Data Foundation) 

A Year in Review: The Data Coalition in 2016

It’s been a busy year for the world’s only open data trade association! We started a new sister organization, welcomed nearly two thousand people to our events, testified before Congress, and celebrated the Senate’s passage of landmark legislation. Our members made all this possible.

Here’s what kept us all busy – and why it mattered.

Bringing our Case to Congress

Our members can do amazing things with government information – but only if it is standardized using searchable formats, and freely published as open data. At our second annual Capitol Hill Fly-In on January 27, our members got a chance to explain this
directly to their representatives in Congress.

We met with supporters of open data from both parties, including Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI), and Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC). All three went on to champion open data in 2016: Issa’s Financial Transparency Act gained visibility and cosponsors, Schatz’ OPEN Government Data Act passed the Senate, and Meadows chaired three DATA Act hearings.

We also announced some big changes: the Data Transparency Coalition changed its name to the Data Coalition, and a new sister organization, the Data Foundation, was born.

Demonstrating Open Data’s Benefits for State Governments

In the first week of March, the Coalition team set off for the California State Capitol in Sacramento for our second California Data Demo Day. Hosted by Socrata, with additional sponsorship from the Department of Better Technology, the event spotlighted California’s step-by-step progress in adopting consistent data standards to make its data searchable and publishing it for all to scrutinize and use.

In the last week of March, we were invited by the Arkansas state government to deliver presentations on how open data improves transparency, enables better internal management, and automates compliance.

Modernizing Financial Regulation from Disconnected Documents to Open Data

U.S. financial regulators could make the information they collect more transparent, more searchable, and cheaper to exchange, if only they collected it as open, structured data instead of documents.

Early in the year, the Coalition rallied support in the House against a legislative measure that would have exempted a majority of public corporations from filing their SEC financial statements as open data. It did not become law – and won’t, as long as we can continue our campaign.

On March 29, our Financial Data Summit brought together over 300 advocates and leaders from across the financial regulatory community to discuss the many benefits of moving from documents to open data. Workiva kindly hosted this event with the Coalition.

The Summit helped fuel a concerted advocacy effort to advance policies in support of structured data in financial regulation. Helped by conversations we started at the Summit, our comment letter persuaded the SEC to transform key corporate information into open data (as announced last month in the SEC’s Regulation S-K staff report), we welcomed progress in the adoption of inline XBRL filings, and newly-supportive voices for structured data emerged within the SEC.

We continued to educate Congress on the need to take proactive legislative action with the Financial Transparency Act (see Coalition resources). Key members of the Financial Services Committee stepped out as public advocates for this reform – especially Rep. Randy Hultgren, who published a landmark op-ed explaining how open data can help catch fraudsters like Bernie Madoff. Thanks to new connections from the Financial Data Summit, we gathered organizations representing thousands of tech and FinTech companies to sign a joint industry letter to the Financial Services Committee in November.

Here’s our blog post summarizing the Financial Data Summit. You’ll find the Summit videos on the Data Coalition’s Vimeo page, and photos in this online album.

Making Open Data the Default for all Federal Information

Open data ought to be business as usual for federal agencies. The government should standardize and publish all information except where there are compelling reasons not to, like privacy or national security. This year we supported legislation to make open data the default.

In April, alongside the Center for Data Innovation, we co-hosted an announcement event for the Open, Public, Electronic, and Necessary (OPEN) Government Data Act. The OPEN Government Data Act directs all federal agencies to publish their information as machine-readable data, using searchable formats. Four members of Congress introduced it: Sens. Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Ben Sasse (R-NE) and Reps. Derek Kilmer (D-WA) and Blake Farenthold (R-TX).

The Coalition joined forty-eight other tech and civic organizations in supporting the legislation and worked hard to help build more support for the bill in the House and Senate. Our efforts paid off on December 10, when the Senate unanimously passed it. Sens. Schatz and Sasse both cited our work in their press releases.

The Senate’s unanimous passage of the OPEN Government Data Act paves the way for quick action early in the 115th Congress.

Click here to continue reading the blog post
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Data Coalition Members

Research Data Group
Donnelley Financial Solutions

Booz Allen Hamilton
MorganFranklin Consulting
StreamLink Software

BackOffice Associates
Center for Organizational Excellence
CGI Federal
Elder Research
Global IDs
Grant Thornton
Information Builders
Merrill Corporation
PR Newswire

BCL Technologies
Gov-PATH Solutions
Vintun LLC
Zenius Corporation

Trade Association
Object Management Group 


About Us

The Data Coalition advocates on behalf of the private sector and the public interest for the publication of government information as standardized, open data.
Copyright © 2016 Data Coalition, All rights reserved.

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